Democrats swept races at all levels yesterday. They kept the governorship of Virgina and they replaced a Republican governor in New Jersey.
Speaking of New Jersey.
The very unpopular Republican governor of New Jersey was Chris Christie. He battled teachers and the teacher unions during his entire tenure.
Christie used teachers as a scapegoat and their pensions as a divisive issue in a state that, like many others, has not kept its promise to fully fund public employee pensions.
That may sound familiar to those of us in Illinois. What also may sound familiar is that the Democrats were co-conspirators in the New Jersey pension theft.
The President of the New Jersey Senate is a Democrat and was the President of the Senate when Christie was governor.
Pat Quinn was the Democratic Party governor of Illinois when the Democrats in the state legislature voted to pass an unconstitutional pension theft bill.
Pension theft was a contributing factor to Quinn’s defeat and the election of Bruce Rauner as governor.
On Friday, 16 Democratic state senators sent a letter to NJEA President Marie Blistan saying it’s “inconceivable” the union would support Grenier. The lawmakers said “carrying out this vendetta” against Sweeney “can only have damaging consequences.”
“While your candidate promotes policies and people that are anathema to your union, Sen. Sweeney has been a steadfast advocate for the principles you claim to support,” they wrote.
Blistan countered that the union is “not an arm of the Democratic Party” and that “all of the endorsements our members make are based on policy, not party.”
“It is not NJEA’s responsibility to protect the career of a politician whose serial dishonesty, frequent betrayals and long history of partnership with Gov. Christie on anti-worker, harmful legislation has revealed him to be unworthy of our members’ support,” Blistan added.
It is a lesson for Democrats that they better learn sooner if they have victory plans for 2018.